Live Commentary: West Ham United 2-2 Manchester United - as it happened

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce on the touchline during the match against Liverpool on April 7, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the Premier League clash at Upton Park as West Ham United draw 2-2 with Manchester United.

Manchester United travelled to West Ham United on Wednesday looking to move a step closer to a 20th league title.

It was the home side that took the lead after 16 minutes, however, when Ricardo Vaz Te headed home from close range.

United were level 15 minutes later, however, when Antonio Valencia converted from close range after good work from Shinji Kagawa.

West Ham were back ahead in the early stages of the second period when Mohamed Diame curled an effort into the back of the net.

However, United fought back once more as Robin van Persie turned home from close range after Kagawa had struck the post late on.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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6.46pmEvening all! Our Premier League coverage continues on Sports Mole as Manchester United make the trip down south to face West Ham. The home side, who sit on 38 points, are seven points clear of the relegation zone, but a strong end to the season could see them secure a top-half finish on their return to the top flight.

6.49pmHowever, they face a United side looking for another three points to move a step closer to the title. The reverse fixture at the beginning of the season ended in a 1-0 win for United, with Robin van Persie scoring early on to secure all three points. The two sides have also met twice in the FA Cup this season, with United winning a replay at Old Trafford after drawing 2-2 at Upton Park in January.

6.52pmIt has been a fairly steady season for West Ham on their return to the Premier League, but they have struggled to score goals this season. In fact, only three times have scored fewer than their 36 league goals this term. They will look to Andy Carroll to provide some firepower, however, with the on-loan Liverpool striker netting five goals in his last seven matches for the club.

6.55pmHowever, West Ham will not be able to call upon an impressive league record against United this evening. The Hammers have failed to score in six of their last seven Premier League matches against United. They found the back of the net twice in the last league meeting at this stadium, but United were 4-2 winners courtesy of a Wayne Rooney hat trick in April 2011.

6.58pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS: James Tomkins misses out for West Ham this evening, with Winston Reid coming into the team. There are also starts for Matthew Jarvis and Gary O’Neil. Meanwhile, for United, Wayne Rooney moves into a more advanced position this evening alongside Van Persie, while Shinji Kagawa is also handed a start on the left of midfield. The back four is as expected with Rafael joined by Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra.

7.01pmTEAMS:

WEST HAM: Jaaskelainen; Demel, Collins, Reid, O’Brien; Diame, O’Neil; Vaz Te, Nolan, Jarvis; Carroll

MANCHESTER UNITED: De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Jones, Kagawa; Rooney, Van Persie


7.04pmThe Hammers have enjoyed recent success against United in this stadium, however, with a 4-0 win in November 2010 sending United out of the League Cup. That said, Sir Alex Ferguson did name a shadow side for that particular match, which is simply not the case this evening. One thing is for certain, West Ham will have to be at their best to upset the away side in this one.

7.07pmThe home side are also unbeaten in their last three matches, with a 3-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion followed by impressive draws on the road to Liverpool and Southampton. The last time they were defeated in the Premier League was against Chelsea on March 17. That run of form has all but secured their spot in the top flight for another season.

7.10pmAs mentioned, Sam Allardyce’s side have been strong on their own patch this season. They have won seven of their 15 matches, drawing four and losing four. It has been on the road where they have struggled with just three wins from 17 matches, losing 10 times in the process, while they have managed just 10 league goals away from home.

7.13pmDespite West Ham’s home comforts this season, this evening they face a side that has been in stunning form on their travels this season. United have won 12 of their 16 matches on the road, losing just twice. To put that into context with Manchester City, United have taken nine more points on the road than the current Premier League champions.

7.16pmUnited have also recovered a stunning 27 points from losing positions this season, but the majority of those came in the early stages of the season. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side are on a simply stunning run of form in the top flight having won 17 of their last 20 league matches, losing just once in the process, although that defeat came against rivals Manchester City last Monday.

7.19pmVan Persie will also enter the match with new-found belief having broken his barren run of form in front of goal with a penalty in the 2-0 win over Stoke City at the weekend. That strike moved him onto 20 league goals for the season, just two behind Liverpool’s Luis Suarez. If he is on form again this evening, it could be a difficult night for the home side.

7.22pmHis strike partner Rooney also has fond memories against West Ham having scored eight goals in 10 Premier League appearances against the Hammers. The England international has been strongly linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain in recent weeks, but suggestions from inside Old Trafford are that he will sign a new long-term deal with United at the end of the season.

7.25pmTruth be told, United have struggled to find their best form since they were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid in March. They have continued to roll on in the league, but have since been knocked out of the FA Cup by Chelsea, who themselves were eliminated at the semi-final stage by Manchester City last weekend.

7.28pmThe league title will be a welcome consolation for the club, however, following City’s last-minute success in the previous campaign. Regardless of the result this evening, even the most ardent of City supporters would admit that the title is gone this season. The situations of both teams entering this match should therefore provide an open, attacking affair.

7.31pmPerhaps unsurprisingly, United have scored the most goals in the league this season, finding the back of the net on 73 separate occasions, nine more than nearest challenges Arsenal. Meanwhile, United have the joint-second best defensive record in the division having conceded just 33 times, which is credit to the performances of much-improved Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea.

7.34pmTaking a look at West Ham’s numbers entering this match, the Hammers have conceded 45 goals in their 32 games thus far, which is about average in terms of the rest of the division. Down the other end they have struggled, however, with just 36 goals. It is no secret that the club will target at least one new striker in the summer transfer window.

7.37pmThere are also two other Premier League matches taking place this evening. Manchester City welcome Wigan Athletic to the Etihad, while Fulham host Chelsea as the race for fourth hots up. Have no fear, I shall bring you goal updates when and if they go in. Of course, also stick around the site for half-time reports and all the like.

7.40pmRight, we are just about five minutes from kickoff at Upton Park. Just about time for my pre-match prediction. West Ham have been strong on their own patch this season, but I cannot see past an away win with the side that Sir Alex Ferguson has selected this evening. I think West Ham will take the lead, but I am backing a 2-1 away win.

7.43pmHere we go then. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. It must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium this evening. Plenty of serious faces on display. Perfect night for football. Let's hope for a real cracker.

0 minJust a reminder of the main team news this evening. Reid comes into the West Ham side at the expense of Tomkins, while Carroll once more leads the line. Rooney moves further forward for United, with Rafael coming in for Javier Hernandez in the only change for the away side. West Ham get the match underway.

2 minBoth sets of supporters are in wonderful voice in the early stages of this match. Bright start from the home side as Vaz Te drives down the right, but Evra is across to make the challenge. Eventually a cross does come into the box towards Carroll, but the striker cannot make proper contact. I suspect we will see a lot of that this evening.

4 minA long throw from Demel threatens to cause problems in the United box as he drops straight under the crossbar, but Rafael is on hand to make the block under pressure from Jarvis. United just cannot get out of their own half at the moment as the home side continue to force the issue. Really bright start from West Ham.

6 minFirst bit of real quality from the away side as Kagawa works the ball wide to Evra before collecting the return in the box, but Collins is across to make a challenge at the vital moment. Van Persie fires a dangerous cross into the box moments later, but Valencia is too slow to react. Fast-paced opening six minutes to proceedings at Upton Park.

8 minCHANCE! First real chance for the home side as Carroll collects possession on the edge of the box before striking an effort towards goal, but it just moves wide of the post. Sloppy defending from United in the build-up to that opportunity. The team from Manchester just have not got started thus far.

10 minFirst real piece of bite as Evra moves past two players, but Collins is across to make a firm challenge on the Frenchman. Better from United in terms of possession in the last couple of minutes, but they have not yet been able to force the issue in the final third. Meanwhile, it is the away supporters making the noise with 10 minutes on the clock.

12 minIt's really good work from Ferdinand as the defender picks out Van Persie with a fine pass, but Collins is across to make the clearance. The resulting corner is whipped into the box by the Dutchman, but Demel is on hand to make the clearance. Jarvis breaks down the other end, but Kagawa is on hand to perform his defensive duties.

14 minAgain Jones is back doing his defensive work as he comes across to challenge Nolan just outside the penalty area. Jones looks forward when he collects possession moments later, but United have been unable to find out that elusive final pass thus far. Just a few signs that the away side are starting to take control of the tempo with 14 minutes on the clock.

16 minDemel continues to force the issue down the right as he wins a corner from Kagawa. The resulting set piece is whipped into the box by O'Neill, but Carroll's header is over the crossbar. West Ham are creating a shield around De Gea each time they whip a corner into the box. Strange tactics, but the referee is certainly aware of the situation.

17 minUnited are once more forced backwards by pressure from the West Ham midfield. Neither side has really threatened to open the scoring thus far despite a host of attacking opportunities. Van Persie is involved moments later as he finds Evra on the right, but his cross is cleared by Collins, before Vaz Te launches a counter attack.

17 minGOAL! West Ham 1-0 Manchester United (Vaz Te)

18 minWest Ham take the lead on the night as Jarvis whips a dangerous cross into the box, Carroll wins the first header before finding Vaz Te, who stoops to find the back of the net from close range. Not the best defending from United. On the balance of play, they just about deserve it.

20 minUnited attempt to respond quickly as Ferdinand launches a high ball into the box, but Collins rises to clear the danger. Meanwhile, the home supporters have suddenly found their voices this evening. Sir Alex Ferguson appears unmoved on the bench, but his side are just not finding their teammates at the moment. Rafael drives a dangerous cross into the box moments later, but Jaaskelainen collects.

22 minWest Ham want a penalty as Jarvis is bundled over in the box by Ferdinand, but the referee is not interested. The match has just become slightly tasty in the last few minutes with the challenges flying in. United continue to put the pressure on outside the box, but once more their final ball is cleared, before Kagawa has an effort blocked by Collins.

24 minRooney tries his luck from distance as he collects possession outside the box before striking an effort from outside the box, but it was always moving wide of the post. It just isn't quite happening for the England international at the moment. Once more Demel is a threat down the right for the home side, but Evra is across to make the challenge. United cannot afford to concede again at this stage of the match.

26 minUnited attempt to force the issue once more as Carrick finds Van Persie outside the box, but the Dutchman just cannot collect under pressure from Collins. The atmosphere rises once more as Jarvis drives down the right, but his cross is gathered by De Gea. United just are not in this match at the moment as West Ham continue to launch high balls into the box.

28 minCarroll continues to make a nuisance of himself in the box as he fights with Ferdinand for possession, but the United defender is across to make the clearance. The away side attempt to break with Carrick, but once more the move breaks down. It just isn't quite happening for United at the moment. They have not yet had a shot on goal. But there is still a lot of football to be played.

30 minRooney once more loses possession in the final third as he plays a pass straight to Collins, much to the frustration of Van Persie who had made the run in behind. Kagawa is involved on the left moments later, but once more the away side are forced back. Evra does drive into the box moments later, but Collins clears under pressure from Kagawa.

31 minUnited are certainly enjoying more of the ball as we approach the final 15 minutes in the first period, but they just cannot find that elusive final pass. West Ham's threat is mainly coming from high balls into the box, which are certainly causing problems. Contrast of styles, but the home side lead with 32 minutes on the clock.

31 minGOAL! West Ham 1-1 Manchester United (Valencia)

32 minUnited are on terms courtesy of a Valencia strike, but all the credit must go to Kagawa. It's good work from Rooney who finds Kagawa down the left, the playmaker moves to the by-line before cutting back to Valencia, who taps home from close range. Stunning goal from the away side.

34 minSuddenly it is all one-way traffic as United continue to dominate the ball outside the box. A cross comes in from Valencia, but Van Persie can only head wide of the target. It is the away supporters that can be heard as we approach the final 10 minutes of the half. Wonderful excitement at Upton Park.

36 minHalf-chance for the home side this time as Diame collects possession outside the box before driving inside and striking towards the bottom corner, but it was always moving wide of the post. United build from the back once more with Ferdinand, but his pass is just too short for Kagawa. United in control of the possession, but West Ham are always a threat.

38 minVaz Te is next to try his luck for the home side as he strikes one from distance, but it was always moving wide of the post. Evra finds a dangerous cross into the box down the other end, but the danger is cleared before Rafael finds a similar outcome. Short, incisive passing from United as we approach the final five minutes of the first period.

40 minCarroll is again the target for the Jarvis cross, but this time Vidic is on hand to make the clearance. Another long ball comes into the box moments later, but Ferdinand is first on the scene. That is the threat for the home side. In truth, they are not really going to hurt United with incisive football. Van Persie is involved down the other end, but Demel is across to make the clearance.

42 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments with neither side taking care in possession of the ball. Kagawa does work the ball wide to Evra, who finds a low cross into the box, but Collins is on hand to make the clearance. Another United goal at this point would really hurt the home side.

44 minThe home side want a penalty as Carroll hits the deck in the box, but the referee is not interested. Carrick has a half-chance down the other end moments later, but his effort is blocked by Collins. End-to-end football in the last couple of moments, but the score remains level. Little over one minute of the half remaining.

45 min+1Another shout for a penalty from the home side as Nolan goes down in the box, but once more the referee is not interested - and rightly so. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute of stoppage time.

45 min+2Heavy hand tactics in the last few minutes of the half as Carroll dives into a challenge with De Gea, which has left Sir Alex Ferguson fuming. It was a really poor challenge from the England striker.

45 min+2HALF-TIME: West Ham 1-1 Manchester United

8.33pmSo there we have it. Lee Probert brings the first half to an end with the two sides level at 1-1. West Ham deservedly took the lead in the early stages courtesy of a header from Vaz Te, but Valencia levelled for United after 31 minutes, with the away side in control in the latter stages.

8.38pmSTATISTICS: United have dominated the possession with 68% of the ball, but they have had just three attempts to West Ham's six. However, neither side has really tested the opposition goalkeeper with just the one shot on target apiece. A 1-1 score at this point is just about a fair reflection of the first period.

8.42pmBENCH WATCH: The home side have a host of attacking options on the bench in the shape of Jack Collison, Mark Noble and Carlton Cole. Meanwhile, United have the likes of Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez and Nani in reserve. There are certainly goals in that list of players.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. No changes for either side at the interval which is not too surprising based on events in the first half. There are two other league matches taking place this evening, with Manchester City level with Wigan and Chelsea leading Fulham. Right, United get the half underway.

48 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for United in the early stages of the half as Rooney finds Van Persie in the box, the Dutchman plays a cute pass to Jones, but the England international just cannot sort out his feet in time. United are in the mood in the early stages of this half.

50 minNeither side is taking too much care in possession of the ball in the early stages of the half with Ferdinand presenting the ball straight to Carroll outside the box. The striker finds a dangerous cross into the box, but Vidic wins the battle with Nolan. Van Persie collects down the other end moments later, but the Dutchman is challenged by Collins.

52 minAnother challenge from Nolan goes unpunished as the England midfielder raises his boot into the face of Vidic. Surely the referee has to take some action here? Not too much quality from West Ham in the early stages of the half, rather a host of high balls into the box. It isn't pretty, but it is causing United all sorts of problems.

54 minDe Gea gives Carroll a taste of his own medicine as the United stopper appears to throw the striker to the ground, but the referee books Carroll for once more being over-physical in the challenge. The away side attempt to move down the other end with Rooney, but once more the England international cannot keep the ball. Carroll has a strike from distance moments later, but it just bends over the crossbar.

55 minHardly time to take a breath in this match as West Ham once more force the issue in the final third, but Jarvis's cross moves over the crossbar. United just cannot get into the match at the moment, meanwhile, with Rooney and Kagawa losing control of the ball in quick succession. Just about 35 minutes of football remaining at Upton Park.

55 minGOAL! West Ham 2-1 Manchester United (Diame)

56 minStunning strike from Diame as the midfielder collects possession on the edge of the box before turning and guiding a powerful effort into the bottom corner. Some way to send your team into the lead. It had been coming, United have been poor in recent minutes.

58 minUnited just cannot get their passing rhythm going at the moment as another move breaks down at the final moment. Jones does find Kagawa in the box moments later, but his cross is blocked by Collins. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining here. Be sure to stay with us because I have a feeling we have not seen the last of the goals.

60 minVan Persie attempts to go alone moments later as he collects possession outside the box before squeezing through two defenders, but Diame is across to make the challenge. Meanwhile, 'You're getting sold in the summer' is being directed towards a certain Wayne Rooney by the home supporters. End-to-end football in the last couple of moments.

62 minHalf-chance for United as Van Persie meets a cross from Valencia, but Jaaskelainen makes a fine save. However, the offside flag had been raised. It would not have counted. Still no movement on the United bench, although I expect that to change in the next five minutes or so. Still West Ham threaten down the wing, but Ferdinand manages to thump clear.

64 minCarroll continues to cause United all sorts of problems as he collects possession in the final third before finding Demel down the right, but this time Demel blocks the cross. United break down the other end with Valencia, but once more it breaks down. Little over 25 minutes of football remaining at Upton Park.

66 minCHANCE! Wonderful opportunity for United as Van Persie finds Rooney on the edge of the box, the England striker curls an effort towards the bottom corner, but O'Neill is on hand to clear off the line. United simply cannot afford to be missing chances such as that at this stage of the match.

68 minCarrick attempts to force the issue as he collects possession outside the box before finding Evra, but Jaaskelainen is out to claim at the vital moment. Suddenly the crowd has just gone quiet as United continue to dominate possession. Surely Sir Alex Ferguson will ask his side why they didn't play like this when the scores were level?

70 minWest Ham make their first change of the match as Mark Noble replaces O'Neill, who has worked tirelessly in midfield this evening. Wonderful ovation for Noble as he enters the field. Little over 20 minutes remaining in this match. Will we have late drama? Or are United heading for another defeat?

72 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for the away side as Van Persie meets a Valencia cross, but Jaaskelainen is on hand to make another fine save. It just will not go in for the Dutchman this evening. But West Ham continue to drop deeper and deeper. Can United score? They always score.

74 minRafael tries his luck from distance as he collects possession outside the box before striking towards goal, but it was always moving high of the crossbar. Meanwhile, United make their first change of the match as Rooney is replaced by Ryan Giggs. It has been another poor night for the England striker.

76 minRight, United have little under 15 minutes to salvage something from this match. West Ham have not offered too much going forward in the last 15 minutes or so, but they have been strong in defence. You suspect that either Hernandez or Welbeck will be thrown on for the last 10 minutes or so. Still two changes remaining for each manager.

77 minGOAL! West Ham 2-2 Manchester United (Van Persie)

78 minUnited level with 12 minutes remaining, but once more they have Kagawa to thank. Wonderful from the midfielder as he strikes an effort from outside the box, it smashes against the post, but Van Persie is on hand to score from close range. Game on!

80 minUnited make another change as Hernandez comes on to replace Kagawa, who has been very impressive this evening. Once more United have taken control of the possession. West Ham simply cannot get out of their own half. What a 10 minutes of football we could be in for here.

82 minUnited are the team on the back-foot at the moment as West Ham continue to float high balls into the box, but Rafael is on hand to make a wonderful header under pressure from Carroll. Valencia is on the attack moments later, but Van Persie can only header his cross straight at the goalkeeper.

84 minAnother half-chance for the away side as Hernandez meets a cross from Carrick, but his effort is straight at the goalkeeper. United can really sense something here, but West Ham remain a threat on the counter with Carroll. Double change for the home side as Collison and Taylor replace Nolan and Diame.

86 minAgain it's good work from Valencia as the winger drives down the right before winning a corner. The resulting set piece is whipped into the box by Van Persie, but Collison is across to make the clearance. Taylor attempts to break down the other end, but Rafael makes the challenge. Little under five minutes of football remaining.

88 minAnother half-chance for the away side as Hernandez strikes an effort from close range, but once more Collins is across to make the block. Van Persie has a wild effort moments later, but it was always moving wide of the post. Little over two minutes of normal time.

90 minHalf-chance for Giggs as Van Persie finds the Welshman down the right, he floats a cross into the box, but once more Collins makes the block. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional four minutes as Valencia comes close from inside the box.

90 min+2United continue to force the issue with a corner, but Taylor rises in the box to clear the danger. The ball is worked back to De Gea, who plays it long, but Collins makes the clearance. Half-chance for Hernandez, but Carroll makes the block.

90 min+4Ferdinand is next to float a high cross into the box, but once more the danger is cleared. A poor touch from Rafael allows Taylor in down the other end, but the midfielder can only fire over from close range. Little over one minute of stoppage time remaining.

90 min+4FULL-TIME: West Ham 2-2 Manchester United

9.39pmSo there we have it. Twice United come from behind to claim a point in a 2-2 draw with West Ham. The result leaves them needing just six points to claim the Premier League title. Thanks for joining Sports Mole and be sure to stick around for all the reaction. Good evening!

Andy Carroll celebrates after scoring the opening goal against West Brom on March 30, 2013
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